The Blur Effect

Wasn’t it just July?

Probably one the most frequent conversations my wife and I have stems around the elusive, missing months.

Where did ________ go?

It’s gotten so bad that we don’t even have to say it anymore. We’ll both just feel it, look at each other, and say something like, “Yeah, I know.”

But then, when did time ever feel slow?

My knee jerk reaction was when I was in 5th grade. Long summer days. Playing outside from 7am to dusk with my buddies. Summer took half the year. Now it takes half a week.

But as I was sitting in the doctor’s office waiting room the other day, I realized there was a time ten years ago where I was bored in such a place. There wasn’t a flatscreen TV on the wall. I didn’t have an iPhone glued to my hip. Nor did I have a MacBook Pro or iPad slipped in my backpack. Just a stack of crusty, over-read magazines on a coffee table drenched with the bubonic plague.

The point is, I’ve realized it’s impossible to be bored today.

There is always something to see, read, look up, or connect to. Wi-fi, cellular, broadband. Always something to keep us distracted.

Think about it. When was the last time you were actually bored?

While every one of us in the modern age could do with a little less internet access and TV time, nostalgia could very easily jump in and say, “We must have simpler times again. Death to smartphones!”

But that’s a pretty easy copout.

The greater, more astute determination is what are you busying yourself with? Distractions of the right sort can actually keep us from pursuing the wrong course.

I want to be distracted from self-centeredness by serving my family. I want to be distracted from the mundane by living out the Gospel in front of unsaved people. I want to be so preoccupied with the creative advancement of the Kingdom that I don’t have time to fret over the failing kingdoms of man.

Working hard, staying focused, and being the consummate student are all things I was raised to do. It’s amazing how often I encounter people who are allergic to “hard work without a break.” As if their mandatory smoke break or magical vacation solve everything. Which they don’t.

It’s how you play your life that counts, not how you pause it.

So if the scenery seems blurry to you, don’t worry about the speed: the course is far more important. And the passengers.

I’m running fast with my wife and children. We’re proclaiming the Gospel with every ounce of energy we have. Every creative idea. Every mile traveled.

The key to living “at speed” is being a better savorer then a backward looker. Because while you may be traveling at a great rate of speed outside, inside the vehicle you’re at a relative “0.”

The moments we have are fleeting. Cherish them. But keep moving forward, as there are many more to come.

Let’s change the question “Where did the week go?” to “How did you live it?” ch:

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  • Man, all I can say is that is so right. Thanks for the wake-up call, Sir Hopper!

  • Bethany

    Awesome post Christopher!! Soooo need to live my days better, not fuller bc hey are packed but better! I so wish I had the mind set (I can do anything) that I have now 10yrs ago. I missed soo many opportunities and so much time flew by with me sitting back feeling useless. No more!! 🙂 time to live every second to the fullest! Love harder, smile bigger, hug tighter, jump higher, dream bigger…..

    thanks for the reminder 🙂
    ~Beth

    • “Love harder, smile bigger, hug tighter, jump higher, dream bigger.”

      Definitely your new mantra! Rock on!

  • reminds me of your previous post about speed. Good stuff CK!

    • Thanks, Nathan. It did have some similarities, didn’t it. Must be a running theme for me.

  • Love this post. It’s a great reminder to let God control the speed of your life. If you think about it He knows how fast you can handle & if you pay attention He even slows you down at just the right times.

  • I agree with the sentiment here, bro. But in practice there are some pretty huge caveats that are dangerous to ignore.

    #1: not everyone is moving 100mph for good reasons, like the ones that propel you. For some, they are simply caught in the rat race, mind-numbing routine, and constant entertainment.

    #2: the pace of life for many is so fast that there is very little “down time” to actually think about the big issues of life. I blogged about this a ways back: http://is.gd/ivRC0u For a lot of folks there are very serious wounds/issues that will never heal until they slow down to recognize them. Not the least of which are the folks who are too busy to notice their need for God.

    #3 Sooner or later, the pace of life catches up to us or catches up to those close to us, or both. In the same way that burning the candle at both ends leaves you with little left but a crumbling black wick, jet propelling yourself through life can make it all too easy to ignore the needs of our children, our spouses, and even our own physical needs. And the trouble is, we don’t know the damage is done until it’s too late. We crash. We have a breakdown. Or suddenly, our kids are teenagers wondering why we didn’t go to their game or why we were traveling so much.

    #4 And finally (sorry to usurp your post here!), let’s not be to hasty to heap guilt on those who cherish vacations and breaks. Even God rested from his labors. He even made a pretty big deal about us taking a Sabbath day’s rest as well. Being the designer of humanity, God probably knows pretty well what a human being can take before meltdown occurs. It just might be that the sense of breathless melancholy we feel when we ask “Where did July go?” is a gentle caution from God that we’re moving too fast.

  • Christian Fahey

    No words….this was THAT good. Yeah…..